Originally published on the Aruba Blog, February 27, 2019, by Rob Haviland and Rajani Abraham

Server automation helped systems administrators reduce configuration problems, free up time for more strategic work and improve compliance. Network automation can do the same for you.

Network automation has come a long way. Administrators can finally give up the command line and use simple scripting tools to configure, monitor and manage the network. With today’s automation tools, you don’t need advanced programming skills to be successful.

Simple, Predictable, Agile and Scalable

Network automation can enable you to:

  1. Simplify your network. Making configuration changes across the enterprise network or debugging an issue in another location via the CLI is often a daunting task. Oftentimes, network devices have slightly different configurations depending on the physical location or the admin’s style. Usually, only a handful of experienced admins can make changes. Managing siloed configurations also makes configuration and troubleshooting more difficult. Network automation can help you simplify the whole approach.
  2. Deliver predictable outcomes. Configuring the network through a tried-and-true CLI is also prone to errors. Fat-fingering a network configuration is every administrator’s worst nightmare. Automation helps deliver more predictable behavior than making changes manually, whether you’re doing something as simple as updating an interface or more complex like creating a new VLAN.
  3. Increase business agility. Server virtualization has made it far faster to deploy applications. But the network configuration to support these applications still depends on the CLI and manual work. Waiting hours or days for the network admin to create a new configuration gets in the way of delivering applications and digital services to customers and employees. Network automation allows the server and network teams to work together to deploy applications faster and more easily, and in a more predictable way. And that helps the business be more agile.
  4. Enable you to manage device configurations at scale. As the number of IoT devices increases, the number of switch ports increases too. To manage increasing inventory as well as increasing site deployments with the same manpower gets challenging and time-consuming. Automating device inventory and configuration streamlines the process and ensures that devices are configured consistently, ensuring security and compliance.

What Can You Automate, Exactly?

You can streamline many tasks over your automation journey. Here’s a quick-start list:

  • Device provisioning
  • Configuration management
  • Device monitoring
  • Compliance
  • Troubleshooting

Contact Chi to learn more about which automation programs are right for your organization.